Thursday, March 15, 2012
Washington Design Center: DreamHome
Today, March 15, marks the opening of this years 2012 DreamHome at the Washington Design Center. I was able to tour the set of rooms on Tuesday and meet with a number of the designers and am bringing you a few of my favorite spaces.This year's theme is in conjunction with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s exhibit 40 under 40 Craft Futures at the Renwick Gallery. Each designer was designated a piece of art from the exhibit to base their room around. It was really interesting to hear from each designer what inspiration they drew from their piece to help in the transformation of their room.The entry to the DreamHome is a modern study by Miriam Dillon of Barnes Vanze Architects and her talented design team in these first photos seen here.The team's inspiration was Hula Hoop, a translucent film quilt by Sabrina Gschwandtner. Not only was the color from the piece used in the design of the room, subtle links to photography were to be found throughout the space including an amazing stop-motion photo screen above the sofa provided by Lee Odess of energy + light + control.A first for the DesignHome, the architectural team built out the space with beautiful ceiling coffers, paneling and a 3 piece crown, built by Horizon Houseworks, creating a true room with architectural presence.The lighting control system, varying textures and architectural details all meet to create a beautiful modern study.I loved the striped window film, by Decorative Films LLC, over the pocket doors to the adjoining rooms which gave glimpses of the spaces to come but provided some mystery and privacy. Behind the study was the Living Room completed by Scott Cooke. Scott took inspiration in his piece Dulce, which refers to the languid women depicted by artists such as Manet and Goya. The room truly feels like a relaxing and feminine space to comfortably lounge. What I liked most about this room was the formal symmetrical plan which was kept from being staid through the use of color and whimsical accent furniture. I especially loved those 2 red and mirrored greek key coffee tables! The office, just off of the Living room, is a very stylish space designed by Shanon Munn of the Ambi Design Studio. Shannon's inpiration was drawn from the piece Crane Chair by Christy Oates. She used the origami motif around the room, including in the amazing custom Stark carpet and the very linear leather covered fireplace surround.Shannon was also inspired by strong and stylish women such as Vera Wang. You easily could see someone like this operating her business from such a chic space.The Breakfast Room by Christine Philp for Palindrome Design is a relaxing space of calm neutrals, organic lines and natural textures. I immediately recognized the Century Furniture table from the Grand Tour collection (remember my post on it from Highpoint).The Cowtan & Tout curtains want to come home with me, they really do. I loved this little cozy reading nook in the bay window.This bullseye mirror stands guard over a number of natural decorative accessories; all just very pretty and calming.Less calming but full of energy was the Modern Lounge by the Akseizer Design Group. Inspired by the Mad Men era down to the interesting acrylic grand piano, the room was designed to complement the neighboring cityscape which the room looks out onto. This view is redolent of the opening scene of North by Northwest playing on a continuous loop on the tv. But the most dramatic room of the DreamHome is surely the bedroom by William McGovern of McGovern Design Studio. While not a room I could feel at home in personally, I feel the place for such a playful space is in a showhouse - where else can you experiment like this?Designed around the tension between the masculine and the feminine, the contrast is further enhanced by the strict use of black and white with the accent of a vintage, lacquered red 4-poster bed. Dramatic; not to mention the crystal chandlier and metallic wall covering.Be sure to check out the DreamHome on the 5th level of the Washington Design center before it closes on November 30. Admission is free to the public and open 9-5, Monday thru Friday.